CBC producer Cate Friesen recommends Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens (daptonerecords.com)
The Winnipeg Folk Festival kicked off Wednesday, July 6, at Birds Hill Park, and ends today.
SCENE enlisted some astute festival veterans to give you daily recommendations of the festival but today is different.
SCENE's head honcho Cate Friesen is reporting from the festival. (Note: Yes, she is paying us to write this, but she really is lovely, really.)
Credentials: I went to my first Winnipeg Folk Festival at 17, on the back of a motorcycle, without my parent's permission. I was smitten from the start. In the 80's I came for the music. In the 90's I came as a performer, to make music. And now I come to the festival for that magical cocktail of music + old friends + lying under the stars + family.
Every year I marvel at the sights and sounds of thousands of people gathered in one space, with big grins on their faces, and the feeling that there is nowhere else anyone would rather be. The kids have muddy feet. The young people have on the funkiest threads. And the older folks (hey, I guess that's me now) are spending as much time greeting old friends, as they are listening to the music.
As I write this, I'm recovering from a rather sleepless night in festival camping. My 8-year-old wanted me to make the drums stop at 2:00 a.m. That wasn't going to happen. I haven't had a shower and I could use a cup of coffee.
Recommendation for Sunday: Hands down the gospel workshop on Sunday morning at 11 is a guaranteed soul lifter, no matter what you believe. This year promises to be stellar. Kat Danser is a young blues woman with an old blues soul. The Fairfield Four have the close harmonies of folks who have sung together for 90 years...well there have been a few personnel changes but the tradition remains unbroken. And Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens are really gospel royalty. If you don't make it for the 11:00 a.m. show, Naomi Shelton will bring you the good news on the main stage.
SCENE's head honcho Cate Friesen (Dale hildebrand)